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East Express | October 17, 2019


MAYOR’S CORNER 

Over the last year, our City Staff and our City Commission have done much work around improved traffic safety. I want to thank everyone for pitching in to find the best solutions for our community. This summer there was an open meeting at the City, with many residents attending to hear what action items were being considered. The residents provided very thoughtful input. Here is an update of improvements put into place, or will soon be. 

In 2018 and 2019:  
  • We added two new school crossing guards: one at the high school and one on Lake Drive at the back entrance to the middle school.  
  • This past fall, the City Commission approved the use of in-street school crosswalk signs at all school locations, which are managed by the school crossing guard program through Public Safety.  
  • As part of an enhanced community engagement approach, Public Safety Officers have been spending time in the morning and afternoon each day at all our schools. They help spread safety messages and promote positive relationships between residents and officers.  
  • This past year, we studied speeds to determine where permanent radar speed feedback signs will be most helpful. If the City Commission approves, they will be installed on Lake Drive at Woodcliff and on Wealthy at Cambridge.  
  •  EGR built its first roundabout on Alexander at Cambridge and Rosewood to improve the intersection and reduce speeds on what was previously a five-way intersection.  
  • The City partnered with EGRPS to produce pedestrian and bike safety videos that are regularly shown to students and are available on the City website.  
  •  In 2018 the City had traffic engineers revisit all school crosswalk locations. The City Commission then approved and implemented all recommendations.  
  • The City has recently released an RFP for our Mobility-Bike Action Plan, which will engage our community to make improvements related to biking routes and facilities throughout the City.  
  • Public Safety is developing a Sidewalk Education Zone program to help residents and visitors learn proper sidewalk and crosswalk safety. They will do the education "real time," right in the streets and sidewalks.  
  • After much input and review, the city has proposed a pilot program for Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons to be located at the high school crosswalk. Pedestrians will push a button to activate the flashers. We are waiting for Committee & Commission approval.  
I want to thank our residents, commissioners and staff for continuing to look for ways to make our city safer. Your input has been very helpful. There is no single answer; it takes all of us working together to get the best outcomes.  



HALLOWEEN SAFETY TIPS
 

Public Safety shared some important tips for the upcoming holiday! Parents are encouraged to share these tips with their children to ensure everyone has a fun evening trick-or-treating. Additionally, children are welcome to visit public safety to take home a glow stick that can be attached to their costumes.  



Spooky Saturday

SPOOKY SATURDAY IN GASLIGHT VILLAGE 


Head to Gaslight Village with your children on Oct. 26 from 3 to 5 p.m. as local shops turn the Village into a spooky playground of trick-or-treating, complete with donuts and apple cider.  

Kids are also invited to visit the library earlier in the week to decorate foam pumpkins which will decorate the window displays of participating retailers throughout the month of October. 

For more details, including a complete list of participating businesses, please visit the Facebook event page.  


 
PUBLIC SAFETY OPEN HOUSE 

Before heading to Gaslight Village for Spooky Saturday, residents of all ages are invited to visit Public Safety on Oct. 26 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. to meet our officers, climb into the firetrucks and check out the cruisers! Enjoy donuts and cider as you mingle with friends and neighbors and learn more about Public Safety in EGR. 


 
NATIONAL PRESCRIPTION DRUG TAKE BACK DAY  

Bring your unused prescription drugs into the Public Safety on Oct. 26 for safe disposal. If you have questions, contact the department at 616.949.7010. 



leaf pick up

FALL LEAF PICK UP  


Fall leaf pickup began Monday, Oct. 14 and will end on Friday, Dec. 6. During fall leaf season, leaves may be placed out without being placed in containers. Leaves should be placed along or in the street without obstructing the traveled portion of the roadway and away from storm sewer catch basins. Please view yard waste rules and regulations by reading our yard waste rules and regulations



SPECTRUM HEALTH – BLODGETT HOSPITAL UPDATE 

The City recently received an application for a revision to the site plan approved in May 2018 for the south parking structure and south surface lot parking areas. The process for review starts at the Planning Commission, with the first meeting being an introduction at the Nov. 12, 2019 meeting at 5:30 p.m. in the City Commission Chambers.   

To follow upcoming meeting dates, times and materials please review all documents on our Agendas and minutes webpage.  



REGISTER FOR THE NOVEMBER ELECTION  
 
The last day to register to vote by mail or at locations other than at the city offices for the Nov. 5 election is Monday, Oct. 21. Stop by City Hall or any Secretary of State’s office to register. You can also obtain an absentee ballot and check your voter registration details on our elections webpage

All EGR polling locations will be open from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 5 to elect the mayor and one commissioner in each of the city’s three wards. You can check your polling location online at the Michigan Voter Information Center or by contacting our offices at 616.949.2110. Sample ballots for each precinct can also be found on our elections webpage



ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS TRAINING 


The City will host a Zoning Board of Appeals Training on Tuesday, Oct. 22 from 6 to 8 p.m. to discuss the functions, administration, guidelines, case law and best practices for dealing with zoning-related issues in local communities. The training will be presented by the Michigan State University Extension Office in room 103 of the Community Center and is open to anyone interested in zoning and planning issues.   

There is no cost to attendees; however, space is limited to 30 participants. Reserve your spot today by contacting Karen Brower at 616.949.2110 or kbrower@eastgr.org.


   
Reeds Lake

PARKS & RECREATION MASTER PLAN UPDATE  


The finalized Community Park, Recreation, Open Space and Greenway Plan will be presented to the City Commission on Monday, Oct. 21 at 6 p.m.  

All are welcome to join us in person or on Facebook to watch Fred Bunn, our Parks & Rec. Director, present the plan for approval.  



LIFEGUARDS NEEDED 

Parks & Rec. is looking for lifeguards! Learn more and apply on our website.  



CONSTRUCTION  
 
Visit our construction webpage — which is updated weekly — for current information on construction projects in EGR.  



FREE TIRE RECYCLING 

The Kent County Department of Public Works is hosting another free fall tire collection at the North Kent Waste & Recycling Center and South Kent Waste & Recycling Center. Learn more and find a date and location that works best for you by visiting the Kent County Department of Public Works website



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